Towards Darkness (Hacia La Oscuridad)

Release date:March 14, 2008
(NY; LA: March 21)

Studio:Peace Arch Entertainment

Director:Antonio Negret

MPAA Rating:R (for some strong violence, language, and a scene of sexuality)


Starring:Roberto Urbina, America Ferrera, David Sutcliffe, Tony Plana, Cameron Daddo, William Atherton, Alejandra Borrero


Official website:

Plot Summary:

The son of a Colombian banker, photographer José (Roberto Urbina) lives abroad in New York . While visiting his family back home for the Christmas holidays, he is reunited with a streetwise old flame (America Ferrera) and reacquainted with the casual violence that mars his country. Within days of his return, José is beaten and kidnapped, his captors demanding an exorbitant ransom from his parents. Aware that the local police would do more harm than good, Jose's frantic parents enlist the aid of a covert American special operations team to recover their son alive. Jose's father (Tony Plana) is soon forced to make an unsavory deal with a Colombian warlord in order to secure the million-dollar payment. Meanwhile, Jose remains bound, gagged and blindfolded in an abandoned warehouse in the rainforest, contemplating what he assumes is his imminent murder. The lives and backstories of various characters converge in a slick non-linear narrative that humanizes each one: from the rescuer (David Sutcliffe) looking for redemption for a past killing, to the kidnappers driven to crime out of pure desperation. Twenty-four-year-old director Antonio Negret's debut is a nail-biting, clock-ticking thriller that eschews stereotypes and blatant moralism, presenting a portrait of Colombia as a vibrant nation of resilience and exuberance, but plagued by extortion and turmoil.